Monthly Archives: September 2012

A Blank, White Page

This is just a ridiculous mind spew. I didn’t want to go to bed so I decided to write…

Sometimes a blank, white page is a very scary thing. You want to say something, and you know what you want to say; you just don’t know how to say it. Or perhaps you don’t want to sound silly or you’re not sure if you should say what you want to. Perhaps you just don’t know how to say what you mean. Maybe you don’t even know why you’re writing, and maybe you’re writing because you have to. Sometimes you just need to run away from something and you run into this blank, white page and now you have to do something with it. Sometimes you’re just bored and this blank, white page looks kind of boring and maybe it’ll be ok if you write something there. This blank, white page just looks to clean, so you want to mark it up but what infection does it need? You can’t just let it go, so you touch it with your soul. Suddenly this virgin page knows your joy and knows your pain. Will you hide it? Will you share it? Will you smile and proudly wear it? It knows a truth, though it may be askew. This once virgin page knows a part of you. You think it doesn’t matter. You’ve just written silly words. You’ve accomplished a mission you forgot you set out on. And isn’t that the best?

Simple

I wonder if anything really can be simple. You can look at a blank piece of paper and think, “Well, that’s simple,” but in thinking that you’re ignoring the process that went into making that piece of paper. First it was a tree, then it was cut down, then it was taken to a paper mill where it was cut up into perfect little pieces of paper. Something similar could be said about a puppy, for example. Sure, on the surface it’s just a cute, innocent little animal. There’s nothing else to it. But you’re ignoring the fact that, as with all living creatures, a puppy has all kinds of body parts working together and within each body part are different cells, etc that keep the animal alive. Even when you get down to something like water, it’s complicated. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen working perfectly together to create the see-through substance that we all need to survive.

So what is simple? Perhaps facts are simple. For example, I know for a fact that if I don’t get enough sleep I will be tired. Of course I say that and then I think, “Well, there are certain times where I get hyper even if I haven’t had enough sleep.” I do think that fact’s like 2 + 2 = 4 are both simple and true, however. The annoying thing is that there is always the question of why? We don’t need to know the answer, but the question is almost always there. I suppose the question and the answer don’t necessarily change the fact that a fact is a fact and you really don’t need to go any further. The problem is that by themselves, facts are simple, but there are so many of them that you can’t possibly keep track of them all and therefore, they are quite complicated, especially when you try and combine them.

I tend to jump right to abstract things like art or music when trying to answer this question, but behind both are theories and techniques and even sciences that complicate them very much. Another answer that I’m sure many people would jump to is love. I suppose you could argue that it is simple in that sometimes it just happens and it works out, but this is the ideal situation, and it almost never works out perfectly.

Perhaps time is the answer. All it does is go at a constant rate. No one can alter it, and no one can make it stop. It has always been there, and it always will be. It is a very significant part of the world, and yet it doesn’t care what goes on in the world because it doesn’t know what goes on in the world. It’s just there. Evidently, not even God will mess with it (not directly anyway). You hear of prayers being answered, but you never hear about time stopping. Therefore, I’d argue that time is the simplest thing in the world.

Coffee

Coffee is a beautiful thing. For me, it is a necessary part of the process of existing. There is really nothing better than the smell of coffee right when you get up in the morning or at the end of a very long day. Drinking coffee is also the perfect excuse to sit down and do nothing for an hour or so (if you drink slowly and if you have the time to procrastinate, of course). Friday is my procrastination day, and it’s so nice to sleep in and slowly acclimate to being awake with a nice cup of coffee. I have a friend who I met last year in one of my classes who will be done with a cup of coffee before I’ve hardly drank any of mine. I just shake my head—armature.

If you brew your own, the choice of mug can make or break a coffee experience. If the mug you choose is too small, it can be very disappointing. Of course you can always top it off, but it’s not as satisfying as having the perfect amount in your cup. Having a cup that is too big can be a problem too because it can be disappointing to have to waste coffee, as well.

When buying hot coffee, it is crucial that you choose the right size as well, for the same reasons. Ice coffee is different however. Because it is cold, you can drink it over a longer period of time, so it is best to get the largest size you can. This is partially for the image factor. It is far more impressive to have a huge iced coffee rather than a small one.

Flavored and fancy coffees such as lattes and mochas are not for everyone, although they too can be good for your image. For example, it is far more impressive to go up to the counter at Starbucks and order a pumpkin spice latte than just a plain old cup of coffee.

Where you buy your coffee is also very important. Buying coffee from Starbucks is way cooler than buying it from Dunkin Donuts; however, it is the standard hipster venue. Around here (Reading Massachusetts) it is far cooler to buy from The Gingerbread Factory. They are not as well known as Starbucks but make very good coffee. However, the coolest places to buy coffee are places that no one has ever heard of. The only place I currently know of is a coffee shop at my school called Chester’s Place.

And now you know how to be a coffee connoisseur .

On The Way Out

For about two hours now I’ve been trying to write something interesting and meaningful. I’ve been wracking my brains and frankly, I can’t come up with anything. I just looked at Facebook a minute ago out of boredom and frustration and reread something I posted when I got out of school this evening; “On my way out of school, I heard someone (I couldn’t see them) playing some of the most beautiful piano music I’ve ever heard!” And really, it was beautiful, but in the space of two and a half hours I had forgotten about it, all because I was frustrated about not being able to write a smarty-pants blog post. So instead of writing a smarty-pants blog post, I’m going to write a poem and call it good!

Sunshine fades in the hallway
A Mournful joy reaches my ears
And I cannot bring forth the tears
Sings the song beyond the door

Peace will mourn the end of war
And count the cost of all the lost
And celebrate in joy and grief
But there is something in the sound

Like the calm before the storm
Like the clearing of the sky
Like a broken heart set free
Tender and beautiful like a child’s belief

The music reminded me of something that is sad and happy at the same time like the end of war or a loved one dying and going to Heaven or getting out of school for the summer and having to say goodbye to your college friends.

Prayer

Prayer is arguably the best thing that humans are capable of. For starters, it is a way of directly communicating with the Almighty Creator of the Earth. It can be done anywhere and any time. It can be spoken or silent. It can be formal or familiar. It can be done alone, with a few or with a large group of people. Prayer can be the difference between an A and a C on a test. It can also be the difference between life and death. It can be the difference between getting a gig and not getting it. It can also be the difference between singing well and singing badly.

Different forms of prayer are better for different situations, as with many other things. For example, I pray every night, whether I want to or not; no matter how tired I am or how late it is. When I’m really tired, I usually end up just saying the Lord’s prayer with as much meaning as I can manage to put into it. Most nights I pray for specific people in my life. I usually try to be specific, but sometimes I just have to say “Lord, you know what they need,” and leave it at that.

When I’m alone, I tend to pray for private matters. When I’m at church or chapel at school and someone is leading prayer, I’m obviously more likely to pray for public matters. This isn’t exactly the best way to go about it, and I realize this, but I try to look at public issues in the big picture. To me the world is big and scary, and I’m of the opinion that to change the world, you have to start at home.

I don’t pray during the day as much as I would like. I’m going to try to get into the habit of praying right when I get up for the day. A couple other good times would be during my break at school and when I get home in the evening. Self indulgent tangent aside, I definitely think it is good to have a routine for prayer.

Something else that I’ve learned about prayer is that you don’t always need something to pray about. If you had a fantastic day, and you don’t have anything pressing on your mind, just say “thank you.” It’s good to praise God in your prayers, because He answers them; and let’s face it, we can be needy, bratty children sometimes.

A great way of indirectly praying is to play or at least sing along with some worship music. If you’re just feeling bad and it seems like a million things are going wrong all at once, and you don’t even know how to express what you need, just sing. The best part about worship music is that you don’t need to be a musician to sing it and appreciate it. When you sing a worship song when you’re feeling like the world is going crazy, you’re basically saying, “God, I don’t even know what ‘s going on right now, but you’re awesome and I know you’ll make things right.” Sometimes it takes a few songs and a good cup of coffee, but this usually makes me feel a whole lot better.

Well, it’s 3 in the morning and I might say more on this later, but Flying Guinea Pig needs to get to bed.

Evil Vs Wrong

There is a difference between “evil” and “wrong.” Evil is purposefully malicious, hateful and contrary to the greater good. Wrong is simply incorrect. I think I need to explain that people tend to put too much meaning in the word “wrong.” In the truest sense, “wrong” should only be applied to incorrect statements such as 2 + 2 = 5.

There is also a difference between “evil” and “creepy” or “strange.” For example, I don’t believe that horror movies are usually evil. Usually the intent of horror movies is to give people a good thrill. Although the content can certainly be questionable, I don’t think it can necessarily be classified as “evil.”

One problem I have when people jump to the conclusion that something is “evil” is that it can probably be assumed that whatever it is, it is probably only “evil” to that person or a certain group of people. In this case, they’re simply using the wrong word. Subjective evil is not true evil. Therefore, the only true evil is sin and the devil. This evil effects everyone and no one can truthfully deny this whether they believe it or not.

The reason I bring this up is because there is and has been so much violence in the world between people of different religions. I think this is partly because people of different religions can sometimes believe that “nonbelievers” are not only wrong, but they are “evil.” Being Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ is the one true God, the Lord and Savior of the world, and I think that people who don’t believe this are wrong. In this case, wrong ends at “incorrect.” I also realize that people of other faiths would probably say that I am incorrect. The fact of the matter is that incorrect can always be corrected.

A question that came up in one of my classes at school was, “Is it better to do good for the wrong reasons, or to do nothing in the right mind?” This came up because we were talking about people of different faiths or of no faith who go out and do great things to help the poor or promote world peace, or any other civic good, and comparing them to people who sit in church and claim to be Christian but who are too self-centered to trouble themselves with such issues. I tend to think that it’s better to do good for the wrong reasons. God loves His children, and I believe that it must make Him happy to see them caring for each other whether they acknowledge Him or not. It’s a step in the right direction at any rate.

I’d be interested to know what people think about this. Input would be awesome!